Walmart, CVS and others blocking ADHD drug prescriptions from online startups

Pharmacies across the country are blocking or delaying prescriptions from clinicians working for telehealth startups to treat ADHD, The Wall Street Journal reported April 27.

Telehealth startups such as Cerebral and Done Health charge patients monthly fees to manage their prescriptions. They also have a strong advertisement presence on TikTok, Instagram and Google to attract new patients. Cerebral and Done Health serve tens of thousands of patients between them, according to the report.

Pharmacies across the country have expressed concerns that these startups' clinicians are writing too many prescriptions for Adderall and other stimulants, which are highly addictive.

In May, former Cerebral employees told Bloomberg the company could be fueling a new addiction crisis because providers are pressured to prescribe medications after short video visits.

Walmart told The Wall Street Journal it has blocked some Done Health’s clinicians so its pharmacists cannot fill their prescriptions. Individual locations of CVS and Walgreens, as well as some grocery store chains' pharmacies, have done the same. CVS has interviewed at least two Done Health clinicians over prescription concerns, according to the report.

"There have been incidents where prescriptions have been temporarily delayed by pharmacies due to confusion around today's telehealth policies," Cerebral told The Wall Street Journal. "This is an industrywide issue that we’ve seen and experienced with pharmacies across the country." 

Done Health declined to provide comments to The Wall Street Journal.

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